A Different Reality

This is a time in history when we are all living a different reality.

2020-03-28 15.19.36

Discovering new favorite flowers on unexpected journeys, 

How are we doing? Something I have personally learned is that I have raised five children who are adaptable. As I watch them evaluate their jobs, their finances, and how they are using this time I am simply amazed. 

I was told many years ago that adaptable people are successful people. Think of the young entrepreneur who is wearing multiple hats and learning to adapt of the ebbs and flows of business. Running your own business has so many highs and lows and everyday is a challenge where adapting to different realities is part of the job. You prove to yourself every day your true strength. 

A different reality has had me looking to my future and defining more  of what is most important.  I am also daily taking the steps to make this as manageable and enjoyable as possible. This is not just a different reality this is a crisis.

The Coronavirus has paralyzed our country. We are living in a state of unknowns for out future. Unknowns for our jobs, our families, our favorite restaurants, our social events and guess what? We are ALL an adaptable species.

Our adversities draw us into our support systems, strengthen our family bonds and have all of us reaching into parts of our DNA we did not know existed.

Here are three, maybe four or five, ways that help navigate change and can teach us to be more adaptable when living in a different reality.

1. A Sense of Humor

No this is not funny as in joke telling haha’s. Let’s face it the big reveal is underway. Those blond highlights are a ticking bomb of growth. Have a sense of humor. That dropped cut GQ hair is going places. And it’s a good think we are not heading into work wearing our designer finest because the cleaners are closed, too. Just look at your circumstances, breath and remember that you are not alone. We are in this together.

2. Get Up & Do Something

Daily, no matter your mood do something. For almost weeks quarantined with my boyfriend. I try to get outside, get 10k steps in, take a walk, ride a bike, reading a book and planning meals and trying new recipes. Honestly I want to impress my man with my mad cooking skills. One night, with two new recipes, I bombed but failure is not trying. Try doing something new. Surprise your family or those you are quarantined with by doing. Creat something even if it’s a flop.

3. Reach Out And Encourage Someone

There is someone who may need your call, your text, your email message of encouragement. No matter the condition of your new and different reality there is one common thread. We are all graveling with the same. Make that call. Make it a daily habit of your new reality. I am using up years of stationary thanking my friends for being there, thanking former clients.

4. Zero Expectations

One day at a time. We are all in this together. Try to work together with zero expectations. This will add a surprise to your day as it unfolds. There is no real way any of us know how to navigate. Not your bosses, not your family members and not your friends. Be an example of doing  the best, and be surprised. 

May we all look back, in years to come, and be able to say, “I became the best version of myself, learned new strengths from within and am better for it.

Stay cool!! Elizabeth

Smile into the face of challenges.
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Posted in Sales & Marketing

Building Your Advertising Message


Building your advertising message is a challenge that both larger and small companies face every day of every hour. Digital Media has placed the never ending pressure to be present every hour and minute to stay ahead of the competition.


I have time and space to help you stay present on your two most relevant social platforms. With a one year commitment at $850.00 a month. You will receive the following…..

1. Full analysis of your current advertising both off and online to measure two of your most relevant platforms to focus on and build your strategy.

2. Twenty well written advertising messages, including graphics, and prepared for sharing on your two most relevant social platforms. Updated monthly with the growing changes in your business.

3. Designing & sharing weekly strategies, messaging and advertising implemented on two most relevant platforms.


If this sounds good then let’s chat. You can call me or email me directly at



On the subject line please include, Advertising Message”.



Posted in Business Spotlight, Uncatagorized

Chatter That Is Going To Matter

Let’s Talk

In 2011 I read a book called, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write” By Joel Saltzman. I thought it was fascinating. Through the many stories, events, and excitement my life seems to have been stories have been told through countless blogs and social media platforms. I can talk, but writing? Is it true that, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write?”  Is the person currently running your online messaging a great speaker? Can they chat up YOUR story away from a computer? Do they have what it takes to have strategic chatter that is going to matter?  This picture, an attempt at costuming up for a Roaring 20’s Party. How is this relevant to this post. The chatter around your business is going to matter whether in images or written stories and messaging. We are heading into the 20’s a century later and you definitely want your business roaring.

Many businesses face the daily challenges of telling their story. Advertising is no longer that one great tag line that carries a company for the next year. It’s all about creating content, messaging, stories and sharing in both written text and images that will attract your customers. Chatter is going to matter more in 2020 than ever before. Are you ready?

If your website and social sites are not telling the same story your customers are going to be confused. Here is the dilemma for many companies. They hire the tech savvy person to run their social platforms with great messaging, telling YOUR story, and sharing what is the best of your best.   Your company provides the information and you are off and running. In that off and running process there is no real change in your business and you begin to question if the expense and efforts are worth the dollars going out but not the dollars coming in.

There is a lost art in understanding the strategy behind the chatter. The design of content, telling your story, and seeing that the underbelly of your efforts is all connected.  In today’s culture of advertising it is not enough to just be talking.   There has to be a well written strategy to integrate all your content with your best. If you can talk, you can write, and you can be your best. But if you cannot talk and write then you need to hire someone who can.

I would love to help set your company on a path of strategic chatter that is going to matter in 2020.  Let’s get those roaring 20’s off to a strong start.  I can do a complete analysis of your online efforts and how they integrate with your offline efforts. In doing so I can provide a strategic plan to fit your budget. it may not be the roaring 20’s but 2020 is coming and it’s time to set you company on a path to success. If you would like to speak with me, Elizabeth Traub, please take a moment to fill out the contact form and we can set up an appointment.

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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Uncatagorized

Get Your Social In Order

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

When was the last time you evaluated your business profiles on your social platforms? It is time to, “Get Your Social in Order.” I think this goes without saying. But does it? Several years ago we all jumped into the social pool of apps, and social connecting and updating and chatting and engaging and forgot a few key things. We thought that all was good and well if we had our proper links on our websites. We thought if our social platforms are set up for optimization we would not fall off the edges of potential business. We thought since all was linked up and in place we could go about our business. And we did. Because who has got time for what has not becoming the fastest moving freeways in the digital era we live in.

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

These Were The Golden Days of Advertising

Remember the days when you could quickly scratch notes on a yellow notepad, run across town to drop off with the graphic designer, then approve the ad copy and you were done for the month. That was it. One great ad that was then placed in all the print options you could afford. Each month you would get a call from your advertising sources to renew or bring in new and fresh ad copy. You were so busy running your business that often you would say, “Just run the same ad”. I know I did The reality for many companies is that they are just running that same ol’ ad in the social space.

With the fast pace of digital it’s not just a good idea but it is imperative for the success of your business to, “Get Your Social In Order”. Every detail of your digital footprint matters. I type to fast. (Thanks to my mom insisting I take typing my freshman year of high school). I was an early user. Back in the 80’s which meant turning in your class assignments neatly typed and double spaced. Today in a meeting I had a typo on my bio on a social platform. Thankfully I also have an editor (Thank you Emily Otteson who reads, and rereads and fixes what my fast fingers dance over). She was not the one who made the typo. I did and it was pointed out to me and quickly fixed. All this to say that you have one job that wears many hats. You are great at what you do. But you did not go to the Art Institute of Seattle and get your degree in Graphic Design & Advertising. (Thankfully I was able to attend this school and get that degree). So you sit in the social space and think you have it all together because you did what the blogs tell you what to do. Or you hired some young kid for minimum wage to set you up. You also asked that young kid to tweet, share, like and make a few comments about your company. No offense to the young people out there but strategy has to be behind each and ever share, tweet, and conversation. And strategy comes with experience.

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

My Business Card~Call Me

I get that you do not have time to manage it all. But for all things good and bad in business do something good for yourself, “Get Your Social In Order”.

Hire someone to do this. Hire me. Shameless to add in my business card? Not at all. If you need help then by all means ask for it. If I cannot help you I can refer some great resources. Or do it yourself. I have great references on those who hired me to teach them. Make sure ALL your social platforms are in order with the kind of message and business you want to present.

This post was prompted today by talking with and visiting with two companies. While we were chatting I checked in on their social presence and I was mortified for them. During the meeting of one company, as we were screen sharing, I landed on their the company Twitter page. It was linked to a wrong account. How long had it been that way? She handled the situation well. Because in her business it is all about your digital footprint. Another company had no bio, no brand imaging. Nothing. Yet they are scratching their heads over why their business is stalling. They thought that since they had their social accounts linked to their website it was enough.

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

Ten years ago it was enough. Not today friends. Not today. Today is the day to get it right. I am here for you. Let’s work together to, “Get Your Social In Order”.

Give me a call 503-686-1109

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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Uncatagorized

Make It A Good One

Weath of knowledge to share
“There is a wealth of knowledge that can spin off of one well thought out and intentional share on your social platforms. Make it a good one. #SavvySocialTip #marketing #entrepreneur #socialintelligence #socialbusiness “
In the past six years I have received some very nice pieces of business through Twitter. Of all places, Twitter. A platform that is linked to my personal Facebook account. A platform that I share both personal and professional content. I have been asked over the years how my Twitter account has grown. It’s been slow and steady. I have spent the least amount of time on my Facebook page. However in the past week I am jump-starting that one. I have used Facebook pages for my clients and know how to navigate and grow, but my business has predominately been referral business thus no need to really spend time on Facebook pages. I have always used Twitter for quick tweets and engagement. I sent potential clients to view my website to learn more about my advisory and consulting roles.
Thanks President Donal Trump for making Twitter even more about opinions and conversation. Perhaps his media team can learn a little from this #SavvySocialTip. A “…well thought out and intentional share on social platforms…” can go a long way when a potential client is looking in on your social platforms.
Screenshot 2019-07-31 13.15.13
Many years ago I made this silly video. It was at a time when companies were trying to learn how to navigate business on Youtube. I had two employees who were young and hip and talked me into this one take video.(images are screen shots thus the quality).
You can watch it here now: https://youtu.be/fS3R3WR_yrs
I thought it was silly. Actually I was a bit embarrassed that I let them talk me into going to a local grocery story and, “borrowing” the grocery cart. We drove into the back corner of this shopping center, quickly snagged a grocery cart, took it to my house, shot the video and returned it.
Screenshot 2019-07-31 13.11.30
I reluctantly put it up on Youtube. The video went live. The young Portland hipster employees were cracking up and said, “THIS IS IT!!” I then shared across twitter for about a week. Admitting my reservations about the video with each tweet. I carefully thought out each tweet and was intentional with my messaging. I invited people to look in. It did not go viral. And if you watched you will understand why. However it did get the attention of two clients. One a major TV network, and then a small investment firm. What the heck!!!
Screenshot 2019-07-31 13.16.31
Imagine a 69 year old fellow calling you up. Laughing at your creative attempt at YouTube. At first I was quiet thinking this was some kind of a joke. However after the laughing and teasing were moved aside, this man got down to business. Asked me all kinds of questions and then hired me. He told me that he decided that anyone who can put themselves out there in the manner that I did must be fun to work with. BAM & BOOM.
I have come along way in navigating this digital era with business. And I am still not able to really connect via video. I am a people person. I know that about myself, and I know that being intentional and thinking through all the elements of sharing on social platforms are important for my clients as well as for how I represent myself.
Now back to the shopping cart. There is a popular rapper named “NF” and he uses a shopping cart in his videos. I would like to think he stumbled across my shopping cart video and got the idea from me. But really the premise of this post is simple.
“There is a wealth of knowledge that can spin off of one well thought out and intentional share on your social platforms. Make it a good one. #SavvySocialTip # #marketing #entrepreneur #socialintelligence #socialbusiness “
Want to link up and meet-up in the social spaces. You can follow my links here.
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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media

Your Brand Should Be Telling Your Story


Your brand should be telling your story.

Are people reading?

I recently worked on a campaign that challenged me in every aspect of the word. This campaign sharpened all the tools in my toolbox. Some tools collecting dust from years past. Let me break this down in one sentence. A candidate enters the race with only six weeks before voting day. Prior to the start of this campaign he had zero online presence in social media. His website was affiliated with his private business and was built around 15 years ago and only used merely has a landing page with no activity. Okay, so it took more than one sentence to break down. Now add-in the simple little piece of knowledge that Facebook is under scrutiny in the politics of their platform. What do you think happens when a personal Facebook page & then a political page are thrown up in one day? Red flags and hoops that are taking weeks to unlock with any kind of sponsored/paid advertising.

I realized very quickly that I had to go back to the basics of digital and social sharing and building of a brand (the person) and get people reading. I had to dust off those old tools in my toolbox. The most important word in this title is, “People.” How to get people reading from a person that they did not know, and in today’s culture using only, “organic” sharing. Anyone who has ever navigated the organic process of advertising and marketing know the hours spent daily to get eyeballs, and eyeballs belong to people, and people are who we want reading.

I come from the earlier years of advertising and marketing. I also come from a deep level of experience in strategically working and bringing the story, the key elements, and the brand melting into a pot of advertising and marketing. However in this case I had become so savvy with all the tools for advertising and the bumps of analytics with paid advertising. It has been years since I sat at a desktop, daily to push the message and story of a client. Yet here I was faced with the challenge.

There were no weeks of trial and error and breaking down designated demographics, votes, voter information and running all the systems we now use to analyze the best possible strategy. This was a no name, never on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram for this individual.

Are people reading? I learned three things in this six week challenge.

1.Well written content that captures the heart and emotions of the people will get people reading. Stay on point. Keep people coming back with YOUR story.

We marketers use brand new memes daily. We share other brands that we think our potential customers, voters, clients will be interested in. When in fact, each time we share someone else’s content and information, we are asking that person to read elsewhere. We are asking that person to go to THEIR story. Before social and digital marketing, in what world would we stand around and hand out business cards for other companies? In a referral manner with companies we did business with, yes. In the online world, in my humble opinion, no. Why send the people elsewhere? Why send someone who has landed on your page to another person’s page? Your brand should be telling YOUR story. Are people reading?

2. Find an important element of your brand, product and service. Then share that story. Believe me that if your are sharing well written content people will start reading and then coming back to read more of your story.

The more personal information I shared about my client, the more readers, followers, likes and engagement (organically) was built. I think Ronald McDonald decided that no matter what kind of medium is out there, the clown story is still important to kids. My client was not a person who grew up and around the daily deluge of selfies. When faced with a strategy that required exposing his personal life and story he had to trust the process. We had to tell his story. And guess what people were reading.

3. Tell and re-tell the most important parts of the brand’s message.

You really can take one message and rewrite it 40 different ways. If you want your readers to have your information imprinted on their frontal lobes then you better be telling/sharing that message over and over with the same graphics, designs and messaging. I am really beginning to wonder if we have been directed down the wrong path of advertising with so much in social media. Sharing has become so busy with trying to share so much of many different aspects of a campaign. Losing  your audience and focus.

Working on this last campaign drove analytics in a very strong direction using what seemed to be tools that were dusty, outdated and old. Only to be reminded that well written content will capture the heart and emotions of your readers. Once you have narrowed in on the important elements of your brand, product, or service people start reading and keep coming back to hear the rest of your story. That is why it is important to tell and re-tell your story. Your Brand Should Be Telling Your Story!!

July 2019

If you are reading this and realizing that you are in need of a Brand & Marketing Strategist I would love to come alongside and help you, your brand or your business.

Please contact me here: https://elizabethtraub.com/contact-me/

Follow me on Twitter: @elizabethtraub

Follow me on Facebook: Elizabeth Traub Consulting & Design

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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Uncatagorized

Start Your Campaign Strong


Promotion all logoOver the years I have received phone calls that start like this, “How fast can you…..?”  There was a dream that developed a solid idea. That idea became a daily thought process, that thought process presented an opportunity to become a reality.  And the next thing you know you are running at full speed ahead meeting deadlines to make that idea your reality. Whew!!  I get tired of thinking of all the late nights staring down a strategic plan with a time crunch.  And I love it!!!

And currently working on getting Dr. Bart Rask hired onto the Hillsboro, OR School Board. Which is the inspiration to write this particular blog. The idea of running for a position, a campaign, and that call for help. Next thing you know we are off and running.

endorsement header

Amazing when Dr.Bart Rask can be endorsed by his biggest critics, his children.

Starting your campaign strong is simply being ready, when you are ready to let the world know you should be taken serious. That requires planning. Careful and strategic planning. If  you are currently sitting on a dream may I suggest you start now.  Starting now puts a solid foundation on what your building.  It may be months down the road before you take off. It may never even happen before you move on to the next big idea, but in the event it becomes a reality you are ready. That call of, “How fast can you…..?” is a challenge for everyone involved. Yet a few easy steps to get you started can make all the difference.

The, “How fast can you….” is something that needed to happen fast for the good doctor. Dr. Bart Rask knew  he came into this race at the 12th hour. A few long meetings, serious and deep research, a strategy, and we are off. For most who have no plan in order this would have been difficult to pull off. Fortunately Dr. Bart Rask came for my help, and all the systems were in place waiting for him. He had the foundation started, and it took careful implementing to build a strong campaign.


Election is May 21, 2019-Vote for Bart Rask

In this past year I have really wondered what has so many plunging in with speed,  no plan, no strategy and a bleeding budget. I know a little of that answer. It’s about being the first one to market. It is also the simple fact that social media has everyone operating at lightening speed. Here are three things you should do the moment  you scratch that dream on a cocktail napkin.  Working with Dr. Bart Rask  and charging forward required these three things I am going to share.  And let’s be real. He’s an Orthopedic surgeon. He is not a brand and marketing strategist. He knew he needed to move fast, he knew he needed help and we got right down to work.


Dr. Bart Rask working on his campaign.

You’d be surprised how many quick starts have gone on to be very successful with starting these first three ideas strong. Strong enough to jump in and build a strong campaign.

1. Get A Logo


It may change over time, and be refined a thousand times, but this gives you an opportunity to get all your identity secured. Your Logo. Hire someone to make it exactly as you want. I love that Dr. Bart Rask had his logo in place. It states exactly what his objective is. If you hired a creative person who can get inside your head, you will not have to change it. That logo can then be used to give your idea a tangible reality. This image will be spread over the internet, so make it a good one.

2. Write A Short, One Paragraph, Elevator Pitch


Writing out this elevator pitch will give words to your dream. Write it out on a 3×5 card. Practice saying it over and over. Practice with your friends, family and strangers. Practice in the car. Change it up until it the most natural thing to talk about.

Dr. Bart Rask has a story of passion,  “Excellence in Education for all Children”. And being the father of six kids is the beginning of his story. All six kids attend Hillsboro schools which fuels his passion. Some may argue that he needs a fancy blue button down shirt with a grey tie head shot of his hair combed. Professional photos are great. But his story is being in the middle of kids in elementary, middle and high school. A man who shows up, and will show up with his vision for Hillsboro School Board.

3. Set Up Your Social Media Platforms

Bart Rask Hillsboro School Board

Time to build your social media presence. You now have your logo and you have your pitch. Months before you ever start development or production you are building a foundation to start your campaign strong. And you look good. It feels good and others think you really are taking this idea serious.  As others take interest you slowly start telling your story. And people begin gathering. Watching, wondering and waiting.

This picture with Dr. Bart Rask walking off the field with a football player is part of his story. He has been the school physician for various sporting events for 21 years. Long before he had his own kids he was helping others. Your story starts with you. What are you are doing today to build YOUR story?  I am pretty sure that Dr. Rask had no idea how I would use this image to tell his story. And to date this one image has had more shares, reach and engagement than any other image. Why? It shares his story and qualifies him all the more to be elected to the Hillsboro School Board.

To many seasoned entrepreneurs this is all to easy. However I have sat across from some of the smartest people I have ever met ready to launch their brand, product or campaign and guess what? They have no one to launch to. They have not built a foundation. They waited until all was pretty and ready to go.  And then opportunity came along and they had to scramble and make that call, “How fast can you?”

When you slowly build a solid foundation you are well on your way to Starting Your Campaign Strong. In my experience strong campaigns are winning campaigns.

Please visit www.votebartrask.com to follow his campaign

#sponsoredpost ( but not really just using a client, with permission as an example)

If you would like to learn more you may contact me, Elizabeth Traub here: @elizabethtraub


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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Uncatagorized

Daily Acts of Kindness for YOUR Employees~Part One


Written by @elizabethtraub

I was pretty young when I started my first business. I had no clue about the importance and value of daily acts of kindness with my staff. I suppose I was not any younger than most entrepreneurs, and actually it was my second business I am writing about today. I knew nothing about taking care of my employees. I am so glad that I could grow into the position of being a boss because most of my staff were more like my peers. I am pretty sure they had a lot to say behind my back of my youthful ways, but when it was go-time we were a fun, happy and kind group of people serving our customers with great success.

eight person huddling

Over the years I am often asked by my customers how I was able to find the nicest staff.  And I had to agree. I have had THE nicest employees. Not only were they good to me as their boss, but they were good to our customers and our customers returned and my staff stayed for years. It was often a new marriage or a new baby that moved an employee along in life and out of my employ. And many of my staff, actually most of my staff, are friends on social media and we continue to interact and keep up with each other’s day to day lives.  Years ago, one staff member who had moved out of town was back in town for a weekend. When she called and said she wanted to see me, my then, business partner said, “How do you get your employees to like you? I never liked any of my bosses.” I told her that it took kindness, a verb played out through note cards, intentional actions, fancy snacks, shopping trips and lots of practice.

For the month of January I am focusing on ways to treat your staff. This is not big corporate stuff. This is small town, ( The Portland, OR area is not really small town) boutique business, less than 60 employees kind of stuff. In each post I will talk about one of the five acts of kindness I showed my staff.  I highly encourage all the big guys and gals in big business read, as this all applies to big or small business. And what is that key ingredient? Kindness. And it

Here are my best  Daily Acts of Kindness for YOUR Employees” Part One


  1. Note-cards

Not just cards with nice pretty little notes with a hand written gesture of appreciation in them, but actually using a note card. Let’s face it. We business owners have ALOT running through our minds daily. The last thing to remember is the few details of an employee’s personal life. Yet, as the leader of the troops the measures to embrace the heart of who our employees are is a gift in ways that go beyond the next sales.

Let me explain. Shelby was a fantastic energetic young employee. Her first big move to the big city of Portland. During our interview she explained a few things to me about her personal life and I took notes.  I took notes on an actual note card like this. I put the card in her file. I then hired a few more staff members and did the same. My business was growing in leaps and bounds and my staff grew from 2 to about 20 in less than six months. One day I pulled those note cards out, reviewed them and went on to my sales floor.

I took time that week to connect personally with each of my employees. Asking them questions about the topics on the note cards. They had no idea I had written down these details about their personal lives. Nor did I ever tell them I had made notes. I could not believe what happened over the next few weeks. It was as if magically moral was raised. Employees seemed happier and the biggest change was one by one each employee felt they could come in my office to discuss. Discuss what? Discuss customer situations, their own thoughts on the store, and it was not just one employee. It was ALL of them. And during those times at my desk I asked about their lives, and made more notes and more note cards.

This became a regular habit. I did not wander the showroom with my note-cards. I reviewed the note-cards.  I would then have a brief chat with an employee after reviewing their updated note card. Asking about the details, “How are your wedding plans coming?” “Is there anything I can do to help out?” “Did you get all moved into your apartment?” “What store is your husband working at? I will be sure to get my tires from him.”

writing notes idea class

It only takes a minute to make a note.

Why? Why did any of this matter?  I believe that we sometimes forget the influence, role model, and culture we are are responsible for providing our staff. I wanted each of my employees to know that I genuinely cared.  And I know I failed at this the first year or two in business. I was focused on running a successful business  and assumed that by hiring good people success would follow. Yet, when I took a personal interest in each employee it made a difference.

I remember working for my dad in a company called Supra Products. I worked out in the factory building locks. This company was big and worldwide and later purchased by General Electric. Yet I watched this man, my dad, the president of the corporation walk into the factory every other week and hand out paychecks. He shook hands, asked the employees questions about their lives and believe me when I say this, IT MADE A DIFFERENCE!!!

There does not have to be this brick wall between you and your staff. It does not matter if you are a business owner, manager, or a staff of two. Be intentional. I do not fault myself for having to write on note-cards to remember the details of my staff and their personal lives. Go today, buy a package of note-cards, or open a file on your phone just to log what makes your employee happy outside of work, what challenges they are facing. As you ask questions and just listen, it is only 3-5 minutes of your time. The impact will be better that what you expected. Even if you are an ogre by nature I am pretty sure that putting money in the bank is important. No matter what kind of business you are in, your staff will perform better when they know the big boss cares.

Plain and simple NOTE CARDS.

Follow on Social Media these hashtags,   to share your experiences, this blog post and more stories on…


Daily Acts of Kindness for YOUR Employees


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Posted in Portland, Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Uncatagorized

The Pain of Amazon (Not Really)

Oh the pains of Amazon. I made a vow that as long as I had my own store I could never buy or subscribe to Amazon.  I felt that I had to shop local and support ALL local small mom and pop shops. That is until one night, late, or in the wee hours of the morning I could not sleep.  I was thinking of all the weeks leading up to Christmas. I was thinking how my boys were asking to set up the tree early and if I got all my shopping and wrapping done before Thanksgiving I could spend all of December getting little things for stockings. But the main shopping, when? When could I get it all done?

I was also trying to figure a specific day when I would ever start my Christmas shopping. Living out of town and in the country makes late night driving not so fun. And shopping, hauling in gifts, wrapping and hiding just felt like too, much. I did it. I wandered over to Amazon. I started searching for the things on my kids’ lists and before I knew it I was placing orders left and right. Even became a prime member. Even ordered the toilet paper I forgot to pick up at the grocery store.

Here are three reasons why online shopping is a good thing. ( Coming from someone who maybe ordered 3 things since online shopping started.)


  1. No, as in no impulse buying. I look at the items on each of my kid’s lists. I search for that item. I add to my cart and move onto the next things. Which of course leads to saving money, which leads to more gifts for family and friends. I had no idea how much impulse buying I have done in past years.  My kids know this because they actually tell me to NOT to get them things they do not need. But the moment I see that display that has nothing to do with what’s on the lists I buy five, one for each kid. And I even tell them to just re-gift if they don’t like all those impulse purchases NOT on their lists.

20171126_1113442. You might stumble at 3am to search for a supersize box of toilet paper. And order it. Which reason number two is really just those practical everyday things we use and never think to order online. I mean for real. Hauling that super size TP into a cart in the store then out to the car and then into the house….delivered to my front door. Believe me it did not stop at TP. I had been out of my favorite hand-lotion for months. The traffic in the Portland area makes me cringe. To think of driving to Nordstroms to buy. So what did I do….Amazoned it.  And I bought two. One for home and one for my handband.


3. Savings on products that actually do cost more at other stores. Because I am a seasoned shopper I was shocked to find things that were A LOT less at Amazon. Even beating out some of my favorite stores like Target. Bummer because I really do love Target.

My older kids swear by Amazon. And I have turned up my entrepreneur retail nose for over a decade. Today as I finish up this blog I am reporting that I have spent half, yes half of what I budgeted on what I spend from one year to the next on family and friends. I am shocked. I mean really really shocked at what I saved. I don’t just credit Amazon for great savings as I am sure there are many other buying sites to save on. I credit the three things I have learned.

Am I late on the online shopping wagon? No, you are never to late. But if you do have the time please first shop the small local stores. Give them your business. I know that I always appreciated my customers and every single dollar they  spent in my store. Time, work, and living way out in the country have changed my Christmas shopping habits and directed me to online buying.  Now guaranteed I will not change the habit of going to the malls on Christmas even, buying a special Christmas drink and sitting on a bench and watch the frenzy of last minute shopping.

I still have a number of $10.00-$20.00 gift items to buy. If you have a small boutique online shop then buy ( pun intended) all means, please direct me there.

Merry Christmas and happy shopping where ever you are.

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Your Employer, Your Pastor, Your Lawyer & Your Mother are watching.


I will never forget the day I saw my 80 something year old mother update her Facebook. I asked her how she learned how to do that and what her interest in social platforms might be. I mean really you are in your 80’s. She said she wanted to keep up with her grand-kids. That in order to stay in touch she had to be in touch and she was going to learn. She also informed me that she had no idea I had a blog until she got on Facebook. She said she had spent hours reading my blog after I posted a link on Facebook.

I got a “lead” for a great job opportunity. I was excited about the idea of this job once presented. My instincts felt a bit different. Something, and I could not put my finger on that something, did not feel right. Then I did some due diligence.  I want onto Facebook to check out the person I would be working under. I looked at all the social platforms around this individual. I was appalled and shocked. And I saw how this person complained about former clients who had fired him, and how he blew up his streams with profanity. I thought it might be prudent to let this opportunity go.


Today a young woman posted on Facebook about her job. I have watched this sweetheart grow up. I love her heart and her story and love how she does life. She was sent home from work for not having the correct attire on. It was a simple innocent post, however if one single person knows her employer, or another co-worker this could be taken out of context and misinform her employer.

This past week I had to have my entire 10 years of being on Facebook downloaded and handed to an opposing party for a personal legal matter. At first it felt highly intrusive. But then  I thought of the messages and content that will be viewed. I have been hired by national brands for the very messaging and content I share. My online space has been one where I try to encourage, share real life events, and hope that one person may laugh, be blessed, be encouraged, be challenged, will learn something new and most important feel love and kindness. Rest assured that anyone can take your goodness and turn it into something not so favorable, but the realization that whoever reads my streams may come away feeling blessed made me feel more joy than intruded upon. Why?  These are public platforms.


Today, more than ever, decisions are being made about you based on your content shared. What are you sharing? What messages are you communicating?  If you knew your mother was watching would share what  you are sharing?  Do you care what your employer, your pastor, your lawyer, your mother thinks? If you are called on to download your history in social media do you panic or do you smile over the simple fact that someone is going to come away blessed? Someone is going to be reading what Jesus is doing in your life daily.

Your social sharing is your resume for life and for opportunity. I later learned that this person who wanted to hire me was really not a nice person. His response to me when I declined the job was similar to his sharing on Facebook.  Instincts were correct and going to social media to look over this person was very helpful.


We are in an age of now having to accept the simple fact that social media is not going away. Although I have had my Facebook sharing open to friends and family, my own community of people, the bottom line is that this information is still subject to be public. Not because of court orders. But for the simple fact that anyone in your community can share you content, take screen shots, and share outside of your intended community.  I have had to spend a great deal of time teaching my children this very fact. Does your walk and talk in real time reflect who you are online? Today that answer should be yes. It better because the eyeballs of the future are in the palm of everyone’s hand. Our employers, our pastors, our lawyers and yes even our mothers are reading up. You may have the skills needed for a job. Skills that should have nothing to do with your personality or personal life. However we have moved into a space of relational thinking on all the levels of life we live. Being called to a higher standard of performance because today your integrity and character will help you with that next job. And your employers, your pastors, your lawyers and your mother’s are watching you.

personal-blog-header-updatedThis picture is the header on my personal blog. The one my mother reads. It’s true to my heart. Those who know me in real face to face time embrace this kind of sharing. They know my story. I love sharing the stories of my heart and how God steps into my everyday life. I love sharing that others may know and understand my life as a Jesus person. And perhaps be encouraged and take courage in the journey of their stories. My journey of mothering, once upon a time being wife, my journey with a deaf son, and experiencing a brain tumor. God showing up in the middle of my everyday story may offend a future and perspective client. I take that risk. Why?  I am about relationships with people. We are in relationship whether we are working or playing, mothering, being a wife, single divorced mom, and on our jobs.I love that IBM Commerce invited me in as a guest for an online chat. I love that they  called me a “customer experience expert” because in both my business life and personal life people matter. The experiences we provide through our social sharing is important to your relationships. It’s how life is lived and learned.


Your social networks are the platform for your story. Make it YOURS. In the social space I view as I would if we were sitting in a room together. Be kind. Be respectful. Be encouraging. Be the wonderful you that God designed.

Want to follow me in the spaces and places I post.

Twitter Facebook Instagram Pinterest





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Be Who You are Online As You Are in Real Time

I have learned something about myself this past year.  It is actually kind of embarrassing. So much so, that to overcome I am going to write about it. I 100% stink at promoting my own brand. I actually have a line I use in all my interviews….”I am terrible at my own brand, but I can deliver on the marketing and branding of my clients.”  To which I then turn over letters of reference.

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Why?  How can I be a marketing gal and not know how to market myself? Let’s start here. What a pretty picture. A story about one of my companies.  The Sherwood Gazette has made an appointment to come and interview me about my shop. I know the time and I think, “I can quickly finish painting this sign.”  While most would be in the mirror trying on the right outfit, and doing hair and make up I am in my paint clothes. I did have a clean shirt to change into, but that never happened. When the interviewer left I was, once again, faced with the reality that I suck at promoting myself.

I have been very blessed with an enriching career. I have worked mostly on referrals. I did not understand the blessings of referrals until I took a detour out of the Portland area for a few years into a tiny little community. My first consulting job in that community came by way of taking a hike up a mountain with a local business owner. She later hired me for a small project. Another gig was through Skip To My Room. I got to know a local artist who later hired me to assist and teach her how to market her business. I did not have to really go and look for work. Even while living in this small community I came into three more consulting jobs outside of town through what? Referrals.

But then one day, that small community had to much snow and ice to get into the city for meetings which altered taking in more work.  I soon learned that there was not enough work in a tiny little town. So back to Portland I came and sitting at my desk asking myself….”gosh how do I market myself?” I love social media, I am good at marketing and branding, I know how to do all this great work for my clients but for myself. It feels kind of like bragging. It feels dirty and wrong. Look at me. Look at me. Over here. I can do this for you, and that for you. You see when you work on referrals, someone has already come along and bragged on your work. Someone has already spoke on behalf of your credibility.

The question is simple. How do you market yourself?  How do you, as the face of your brand, market the work you do?

In the past three months I have been hired by a company that had nothing to do with work. I sat next to the owner at a picnic. She asked what I do. I shared. The kind of sharing that went something like this, “I work to help companies tell their stories and branding and marketing kind of stuff.” I am at a picnic in shorts and flip-flops. I have most likely had a couple of hard ciders and this is not a working event. Yet a few months later they contacted me.  I also have a company I worked with from five years ago. Five years ago they found me through another client. They are ready for some more cocktails of marketing and branding. And now another project is facing me. All came by way of being out and about, here and there. Could this possibly be my business strategy? Image result for Image of  a struggle with marketing

How do you market yourself?  By being  yourself. How do you market the work you do? Do a swell enough job that someone else is doing the talking for you. However I am going to take this a step further. Because I asked these people why? Why they ultimately hired me. In six specific cases, without knowing my client list, or seeing my work they “heard” about me. A trusted friend, a trusted colleague, a trusted former client all sharing their company success after having hired a consultant, me. Are you worth talking about by others?  What happened for me, is that, by nature I am a social person. I invited all of my clients into my personal social space. Outside of the work that I do, they see I am a devoted mother. They see my hobbies, my interests and my passions. And through those interactions on social media a level of trust is built around my character.  Trust is because in reading your public postings…you communicate more of who you are personally and professionally.  I mean, really look at my Twitter feed. How “professionally” positioned is that. NOT!!  But you might get to know more of my personality.



Now back to the simple fact that I still stink at personally marketing myself. My best advice is be your real authentic self in all your social media platforms and those looking in will either like what they see or not. And those who do like what they see will end up taking you out for drinks to learn the knitty-gritty of what you have to offer.

Be who you are online as you are in real time.

And if someone wants to interview you, might I suggest you hold off on the painting project until afterwards and clean yourself up a bit. @elizabethtraub


If you would love to have me work on behalf of your next project please do not hesitate to contact me. I do keep my Facebook public so you can look in and get to know more of me. Message me or contact me HERE.





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Is Visual Branding the New Media?

I was once this 20 something year old attending the Seattle Art Institute. Studying Advertising & Graphic Design. All my classes, all my cutting and pasting, and all my ad designs came down to one single thing. “What message are you communicating when someone SEES your ad?”

I made an ad for a local restaurant. An Italian restaurant agreed to accept the ad design from one of the students in the program I was in. If I was that instructor I would have asked that all the students enjoy a meal before starting the two week turn around for the ad.  I had to base my decision on visual only. Not taste,  not atmosphere, or all the senses that go into a restaurant experience. I asked one question to my instructor.

“Are the owners really Italian? I mean did they really come over from Italy and are now wanting to start a restaurant from family favorite recipes?” 

She had to get back to me on that question. It turned out that they were in fact from Italy and it was a yes to my question of sharing family recipes.

Visual Branding has been around for decades. It’s not something new in media. We just keep giving new hip cool names to what we have been doing all along. The reason I asked about being a real authentic home grown Italian is that two years prior to this class project I was in Italy. And guess what? If you have traveled and dined in the back country of Italy you know one thing… Italians take great pride in making the perfect bowl of pasta. My experience was that pasta is served before the salad came. A big hot buttery, garlic seasoned bowl of pasta made perfect.

“Pasta Made Perfect”

That was my winning tagline. I then hand made a big bowl of pasta pouring out all over the ad. I won the gig. My ad was chosen and used on the print materials for that company. To this day I have no idea what restaurant. I took no pictures of my work and all I know is that it was a restaurant in downtown Seattle. A bowl of pasta and three words. Visual Branding in telling the story and the message that resonated with some restaurant owners. My experience in Italy was all I had. It was a great piece. One I could recreate from memory. Only 31 years later I would not have to hand letter the words. I would not have to carefully cut and paste with my blade. Each letter was traced from a blown up Kinko’s font. Then colored in with a red paint. And then carefully cut out by an exact-o knife. And then placed on the board. There was no fixing a mistake. This is how it was done. A project like this took many, many, many hours of careful and precise work. Today that same message and picture took me about a minute.


The messages we create in one sentence, one picture,  and one tag-line is going to produce an emotion to those who have eyeballs. Those who have eyeballs are your audience. Visual Branding is not something new if you are in your 50’s like me. Yet we speak as if it all brand new to our marketing strategies. And to the person starting out, then yes this is a new concept. One picture, one branding statement could carry a company for a year. Today we are convinced to be pumping out daily new messages to get our audiences looking in. 

Here is a simple idea for your brand. Find that one image that brands your company. That one piece that says, “WOW”.  Then come up with about ten true and real statements about your company in one simple sentence. Then take that sentence and photo-shop into your pictures. Share that same branding pictures communicating those statements about your company. For those who work in this space, this is a very simple and impacting way to jump start your Visual Branding. One that many boutique companies have no idea on how to do. I would love to help you. If you are struggling in your vision, your voice, your messaging let me help you. Is it enough to be just sharing the content of other brands? Or should you have your own marketing schedule of sharing your own brand?

Perhaps we could meet at an Italian restaurant and have the perfect bowl of pasta.  You can contact me here for more information.




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Creative Sister


Image may contain: tree, house, plant and outdoorOh my goodness gracious me oh my it truly is creative. Much like with my own sisters.  There are four of us girls. The last of us girls just turned 50.  We grew up in a time when all you had to play with was what you could find in the garage, the woodpile, the gutter, the ditch or whatever you could trade on the grade school play ground. I have to say that us girls were in fact “Creative Sister(s)”. My sisters and I have absolutely nothing to do with “Creative Sister” this month’s business spotlight.


One day, as in today, I walked into this darling little boutique. I am still a BIG fan of the local small mom and pop retail business. In this case it is just ma and she is gangster with creating stuff. The kind of stuff that make for great gifts, great treasures and home decor accents. Wendy’s right there creating in her shop. And believe me when I say….WOW!!!

So let’s talk about retail. Let’s talk about this “Business Spotlight”.  I visited with Wendy Malcomsom, the creator and owner. At first she apologized for the BIG table full of all kind of metal collectables. After all what is a girl to do with all this stuff during her shop hours? Create! Duh!! I excused her contained, organized mess. Assuring here that I love walking into a creative shop and seeing the artist at work.   I may have spelled “Bug” while she waited on a customer.


Blurred a bit as an artful attempt at nuts and bolts art.

“Creative Sister” is nestled in the quaint little town known as “Old-town Sherwood” or is “Sherwood Old-town”?  I am new to this area and I hear the locals reference both. Creative Sister is tucked in a little old house and filled with her creative inspirations.


Perhaps “Yum” is in order at your breakfast table.

What is it about the art of the small retailer?  Is the small retailer still viable?  Let’s start with a story. What is her story?  Without prying I did learn a few things about her story.  I learned that Wendy has a mini Labradoodle named Charlie who is with her daily. I learned that she is a single mom. I learned that Wendy once worked in the health industry and turned to her creative space in her brain. Had this crazy idea, ( because that is what our family always says when we decide to step into the unknowns of retail), started collecting and finding  unique pieces of this and that. “That” then being transformed into lovely wood and metal gifts and home decor. I am pretty sure that her glue gun and drill get a lot of use on a daily basis. Each piece that Wendy creates tells her story. A story of wandering long hours and finding the right stuff to create with. Her story of collecting may have gone a bit on the wild side. One day Vicki Norris, local organizing expert walked into Creative Sister and thought a make over was in order. Here is that story.


I happen to be at an evening gathering last October where Wendy told her story of retail. The struggles, the pains, the hard stuff. Wendy began to doubt her decision of owning and running her own shop. Vicki Norris turned that doubt into hope. Sometimes we need that vote of confidence from an outsider. Like a SIGN from a God. And since that time Wendy has been making lots of signs.


Taking every day stuff and creating a new look and purpose.

Wendy is in her shop Thurs-Sun creating. Making ordinary things once tossed aside and adding new zip and zing. Like these vintage jars. Need a pop of color in your kitchen or office. These jars can hold  your desk accessories, wooden spoons on your kitchen counter, or even craft supplies in your crafting space. Even someone creative like me, looks at these jars and thinks…”I will take all three jars.”


Simple statements with color

Supporting your local shop is more important today than ever. Why?  It’s not the fast cheap and easy stuff that makes a difference. We are still a culture that takes pride in the arts. We still want to touch, feel, and learn about the story behind the shop or that special piece made. Your dollars support the economy of small business. Our streets appear to be thriving when the retail spaces are full. Take your walk during lunch and visit “Creative Sister.” Take a few minutes before getting your kids from school to stop in. Think of this darling shop the next time you want a gift.  Think of this shop the next time you are looking at empty spaces on your shelves or walls. With her vintage accents, you will be surprised at how quickly you get lost in the creativity that fills this delicious space.

I thought about this picture below. I thought what a wonderful gift this entire collection would make. Serving breakfast to your guests on a tray with gifts they can leave with. We are talking Mimosa’s in those goblets right? Followed by a shot of espresso.


What a wonderful collection of gifts.

I am both thrilled and excited to see what Wendy creates next. You can keep up with Wendy and Creative Sister here on Facebook. Bring in a swatch of fabric, a favorite home accent that Wendy may create in the colors that work best in your home. Special Orders on creativity is an added bonus to shopping local.

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Dear Americans, Do we want fast, cheap and easy?

On January 6, 2017 The Wall Street Journal reporters, By SUSAN PULLIAMSARAH NASSAUER and RICHARD RUBIN

“Retailers Risk Multibillion-Dollar Earnings Hit Under GOP Tax Plan”

The article basically addresses,

“A Republican proposal aimed at cutting tax rates and keeping jobs in the U.S. risks whacking the earnings of big U.S. retailers by driving up the cost of imported clothes, furniture and other goods.”

The moving of the factoring of products back into the U.S. thus creating more jobs for Americans. I have been a retailer for over 25 years. Small brick and mortar. Some years in the millions, and the past years barely able to pay a staff.  Once companies moved their manufacturing from the United State the cost of good came way down. Yay!  We should all be happy, right?  For my store, more than a dozen American made furniture manufactures went out of business. The quality of once great products I stood behind, became crap. Even a beautiful Vermont made furniture company moved overseas. Everything looked the same, but the quality was so poor that in shipping almost everything is now damaged. Prior to manufacturing overseas I had only had one shipping claim in over 20 years of doing business with this company. I have to applaud them as they did what they needed to do to stay in business.  They are fast, cheap, and easy to get.  As a matter of fact everything became fast, cheap and easy. My once strong staff of 50 or more dwindled to less than five. Why?  If moving manufacturing over seas was such a great idea, who is the winner here? Many stores have folded. I have watched the demise of the local mom and pop retailers slip away. Driving consumers to be conditioned into the new culture of shopping which we ALL love.

Are consumers the winner? Yes, consumers are the winners. We got what we wanted. The American dream of consumption of products. All the stuff we ever wanted is fast, cheap and easy to get. We have taken the finer things in shopping and made them available to everyone with the flip of a credit card.  I am guilty of this as a retailer. I use to have to go through a sales rep in order to order the products for my store. The layers of buying drove up the cost to the consumer. Now I can go online and with a flip of my credit card order straight from the factory over seas. The wholesale prices reduced to be below half of what I was paying. And if I was really excited about running a website I might be selling all those goods on my website. Even with over 25 years of retail experience I know one thing. If all you have to do is click an app to price shop I am going to lose against the big guys out there. They can order and buy in so much bulk that their “free” shipping has made my shipping costs skyrocket more than triple. Thus pushing the smaller retailers out even further. The small retailers who once employed lots of people.

The article with WSJ, in my opinion, was the boo-hooing of the larger retailers who would no longer make the profits they are now making. You see the profits did not pour back into the economy on a day to day scale of employing Americans. Larger retailers have never been one to provide a better life for their employees. Ask any red vested or blue vested employee from a larger employer what they actually earn.  Ask that they same employee if they own a home, a car or are able to send their kids to college. I did ask and I was shocked by answers at random. Learning that most have to have two “part-time jobs because they only give full-time to managers.” I heard that over and over.  Shocked that “I am having to be on state funded care because I do not get paid enough.” And one person actually said, “I do not mind the pay or shorter hours. I can only make so much money or they will take my food stamps from me.”   I am not talking about the corporate side of these larger retailers. I am talking about the staff in the blue and red vests that make these companies run. The larger retailers are winning by bringing products in from other countries. They are getting fast, cheap and easy. Offering consumers compromised quality.  Profits will be affected. Why? They will need to hire out more people from our homeland to produce and factor. Oh wait, you mean their profits may be compromised by employing more Americans? Wait a minute do we want jobs or more stuff for cheap?

The question is do we want jobs or do we want fast, cheap and easy products? I am a fan of jobs. You see those larger retailers may threaten to raise the prices. Are they really? No. Why? Because their stock holders want to keep the company in business.  Raising prices may make us all more conservative in our shopping and making decisions as to where to shop. This larger retailers have been spoiled in ways we may never know. With more jobs there are more people shopping. Retailers do not want to compromise their business profits. Because at the end of the day it is all about the money, not the people. Do not be fooled. They will have to add in new line items for their accounting. Line items with real names of people who live in the United States. Their payroll will have Americans’ names that checks are issued to. Americans who have been out of work, and Americans who actually want to work. When Americans are working, we like to spend our money.

Dear Americans, Do we want fast, cheap and easy? Or do we want jobs?







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